Health facilities in Buvuma district have been hit by a shortage of drugs in the area.
The district has one health centre IV, three health center IIIs of Busamuzi, Bugaya and Namatale and eight health center IIs which include Lwaje, Bwema, Nkata, Lubya, Lukale, Lingira, Namiti and Buwooya.
Dr Baker Kanyike, the Buvuma District Health Officer said that the facilities have been grappling with drug stock-outs for two months. He says they lack essential supplies such as anti-malarial drugs, antibiotics, vaccines.
He added that they have informed the Ministry of Health about the shortage, but they have not received any response.
John Bunjo, the assistant officer-in-charge Kitamiiro Health Centre IV, said the health workers face challenges attending to patients when there are no drugs. He said that the facility receives more than 150 patients on average each day.
Bunjo added that they are forced to prescribe drugs to the patients, but due to lack of money, the patients don’t buy the drugs from private health facilities.
Richard Isabirye, a resident of Musamuzi village in Busamuzi sub-county says that due to lack of money, he crosses the lake to the mainland in Mukono, Buikwe or Jinja districts to access drugs in health facilities. He said health workers often ask them to buy certain drugs from private clinics.
Isabirye noted that since fishing is no longer a profitable venture due to the covid-19 pandemic, they find it hard to survive and raise money to seek services in private health facilities.
Esalwe Kintu, a resident of Maggyo cell in Buvuma Town Council said that they are forced to queue up for several hours at Namatale Health Centre III to receive the little drugs available because of the high number of patients.
Ritah Namukose, another patient expresses concern that although the private clinics are expensive, they could be operated by unqualified people who often make wrong prescriptions.
Buvuma district comprises 52 islands, three town councils and six sub-counties. According to the latest national census conducted in 2014, Buvuma district has 110,000 people.